Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund deadline extended

Abby Hoover
Managing Editor

The Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund (NTDF) Fiscal Year 2021-22 application deadline has been extended to Friday, Oct. 30 for events between May 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022.

“The decision to extend the deadline for the fiscal year 2021-2022 annual awards cycle was an effort to make sure our net was cast as wide as possible to hopefully gain a truly diverse group of participant organizations throughout Kansas City,” said Robert Loya, Cultural Partnerships and Grants Manager. “We also understand that due to current events, being more flexible and offering a later deadline than normal would be more beneficial to those who are applying.”

Eligible applicants must be not-for-profit neighborhood organizations incorporated in the State of Missouri and located within city limits. They must also be in good standing with the state and city. In addition to maintaining a physical address within city limits, they must maintain a registered agent address within the State of Missouri and demonstrate encouragement of broad-based citizen input and participation.

“All of the same eligibility criteria that has applied in the past remains the same,” Loya said. “Meeting all of the eligibility criteria is very important as passing that vetting process allows an organization to move forward in our competitive process, it’s the first major step towards being able to participate in the program and be eligible for awards.”

NTDF promotes Kansas City’s neighborhoods through cultural, social, ethnic, historic, educational and recreational activities while promoting Kansas City as a premier convention, visitor and tourist destination.

Eligible projects must be open to KCMO residents and attract visitors from outside the city limits. They can include festivals, rodeos, sports tournaments, concerts, movies in the park, homes tours, exhibits, parades, and races or runs.

Organizations that have been awarded funds in the past include the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired, StoneLion Puppet Theatre, the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the neighborhood associations in Historic Northeast for events that promote the history and culture of the Northeast community.

“The NEKC Chamber has, in the past, applied for and received funds for our International Marketplace Taste & Tour as well as for our [Historic Northeast] Mural program,” said Bobbi Baker, President and CEO of the Chamber. “Those dollars were primarily used to advertise and market those signature events to residents of the [Northeast] and to others throughout the greater KC area.” 

Baker said bringing people together, in the Northeast, helps to expose the businesses to a larger and broader audience. 

“Invariably, those people return to the restaurants and other businesses in the area,” Baker said. “Improving the economic development of our community is the goal – exactly what NTDF funds should be funding.”

The NTDF provides support to non-profit organizations through contracts for services, established by Missouri state law in 1989 to help promote Kansas City’s “distinct  and diverse neighborhoods through cultural, social, ethnic, historic, educational and recreational activities in conjunction with promoting the city as a premier convention, visitor and tourist center.” Following the passage of the local convention and tourism tax, the City then passed an ordinance in 1995 establishing the rules and guidelines for the program in Kansas City.

“Annually in the past the fund has made awards around the 1.5 million mark, back in 2017, but like everything else, the program has been impacted by the pandemic,” Loya said. “We are currently under the 1 million mark for this fiscal year, but one must remember that the program is funded through 10% of the hotel tax and that industry is currently under duress, significantly decreasing the tax revenue and thus, our fund as well. That being said, it is the hope of the committee to be a light at the end of this tunnel as a source of support, but at a responsible rate that will also allow the sustainability of the fund in the future, for future support.”

According to the city’s website, the tourism and convention industry contributes $4.6 billion in direct expenditures to the Kansas City metropolitan area’s economy. In a normal year, Kansas City receives about 22.3 million U.S. visitors annually. 

The city’s top activities are shopping, fine dining, gaming, sightseeing, cultural attractions, sports events, exhibits and festivals, in which the NTDF plays a significant role.

The committee accepts applications from qualified nonprofit organizations to support programs that meet the state and local requirements on an annual and quarterly basis. There are 15 people on the committee, three appointed by the Mayor and one appointed by each of the twelve members of City Council.

Those interested in applying can access the online application at kcmontdf.org. For more information about the application process, contact Rob Loya at (816) 513-9018.

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